Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat has disclosed that the State has attracted over One Billion dollars in Data Centre Investment in the past year.
Speaking on Thursday at the Art of Technology (AOT) Lagos 4.0, with the theme: “Talent Acceleration and a Smarter Lagos”, held at Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, where some students were rewarded for emerging winners of the Innovation and Ideas Competition, the Deputy Governor said the initiative will enable the local domicile of digital platforms and open the State for more digital technology opportunities.
He added that the proliferation of these investments presents opportunities for talent development within the ecosystem, emphasising that the entrepreneurial environment and the open support for technology informed the present administration’s increasing focus on innovation in a bid to drive value outputs for the state’s ecosystem.
The Deputy Governor noted that the State Government is motivated to see the growth the ecosystem has experienced over the years, maintaining that Lagos is now the number one technology startup ecosystem in Africa in terms of funds, performance, and the sheer number of startups creating value.
He stated that between 2019 and 2021, over a 120% increase in Venture Capital (VC) inflow into Lagos was realised resulting in 1.5 billion dollars in VC funding in 2021 alone, adding that the state has a record of over 2000 Startups creating and contributing value across Fintech, Agritech, Construction and Health among others.
He averred that the administration’s contribution is evidenced in the different implementations and initiatives contained in the State’s first Innovation and Technology Masterplan which contains multiple strategic pillars that cascade in multiple tactical initiatives launched during the first edition of Art of Technology.
Hamzat noted that since the conception of AOT events, the state has been able to foster value-creating contributions that have enabled a deeper and better collaborative relationship with the ecosystem.
“Since the first AOT gathering, we have ignited the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council, a body consisting of private and public sector professionals tasked with intervening directly in the ecosystem through funding. The result to date has seen over 60 startups receive funding of between 5,000 and 12,000 dollars in the past two years”, he said.
Speaking further, Hamzat stated that in fulfilling this administration’s agenda of a Smart City, over 600 Smart Intelligent Video Surveillance Cameras as well as Intelligent Transportation Cameras for Traffic monitoring and management have been deployed across the state.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Hakeem Fahm, stated that for the state to experience total development throughout all facets of society, it is crucial to harness the youth’s energy in the appropriate way.
He added that the Lagos youths are undoubtedly the face of the state and nation in the future, adding that they are full of wonderful ideas and boundless energy, that if given the correct platform and plenty of opportunities, they are sure of shining like a star.
The Commissioner, however, said that the State Government will henceforth focus on Talent acceleration and a Smarter Lagos, noting that the administration is creating a 10-year roadmap to widening the talent acceleration pipeline to achieve talent sustainability that will deliver a smarter Lagos.